New era for Arena Joondalup

Change coming: Major upgrades to Arena Joondalup have been approved.
Change coming: Major upgrades to Arena Joondalup have been approved.

A NEW basketball stadium and football facility are part of upgrades to Arena Joondalup approved on Monday.

Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said the development of a new home for Joondalup Wolves and upgrading facilities for the West Perth Football Club were the second phase of the State Government’s upgrade of Arena Joondalup.

“It follows the expansion of the netball facilities and the additional rugby field, which have been completed and are already in use,” she said.

The estimated $26.5 million development will include a new basketball stadium with four indoor courts and associated facilities such as training rooms; a new football building with sporting, hospitality and administrative facilities for the existing stadium; two new carparking areas; and minor upgrades to existing sporting facilities, internal access roads and services infrastructure.

The proposal was conditionally approved at Monday’s Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel meeting.

Conditions included a parking and traffic management plan, including how events and overflow parking would be managed, a minimum of 42 sealed parking bays and 164 grass bays in the new third carpark, a minimum of 150 sealed bays in the new fourth carpark and a minimum of 30 bicycle parking bays on the site.

Joondalup councillor Philippa Taylor said the grassed area proposed to become the third carpark was currently used as overflow parking and asked if that would be lost.

VenuesWest strategic projects director Colin Brandis said about 750 overflow parking bays would be available on the western oval during major events.

He also said VenuesWest was about to enter into an agreement with neighbouring Lake Joondalup Baptist College to allow the school to use the Arena’s parking facilities during school hours and the venue to use the school’s parking after hours.

Another condition was to give the main entry plaza a “greater visual interest”, particularly to help people find the entrance.

Sandover Pinder Architects managing director David Karotkin said they were aware putting a large new basketball stadium in front of the existing building would significantly change the approach to the Arena and could make it hard to identify where the main entry point was, particularly for first-time visitors.

He said it was proposed to use landscaping, tree alignments and illuminated pylons to help direct people to the entry. It is also a condition to ensure one tree per four car bays is planted in all four carparks.

Mr Brandis said the upgrades would still facilitate festivals, with Arena Joondalup allowed to hold four per year, and it would accommodate a future event train station.

Construction is expected to start next year, however, the development application was submitted before being put out to tender so future amendments to the proposal maybe be sought.